November 25, 2019 - Consumer Products, Environmental Law

CARB Issues New Draft VOC Limits for Consumer Products

On November 7, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a second public workshop to review its draft proposed amendments (Draft Proposal) to its Consumer Products regulations. Since its first public workshop in April, where it identified 49 priority categories, CARB has convened two public work groups related to these regulatory amendments: a Regulatory Strategies Work Group, which has met 14 times and has eliminated 32 categories from further evaluation, and a Regulatory Definitions Work Group that has met twice to update existing regulatory definitions and improve program implementation.

Draft Proposal Summary.

The chart below sets forth the categories in the Draft Proposal, their existing volatile organic compound (VOC) standards, and the draft proposed VOC standards and VOC reductions, along with their corresponding effective dates of January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2027.

Category Existing VOC Standard Effective Date:
Jan. 1, 2023
Effective Date:
Jan. 1, 2027
VOC Standard
Reductions (2023 tpd)
VOC Standard
(2031 tpd)
Manual Aerosol
Air Freshener
20% or 30% 10% 1.0 5% 1.8
Hair Finishing Spray 55% 50% 1.1 45% 2.7
No Rinse Shampoo NA 50% 0.7 45% 0.9
Personal Fragrance Products (< 20% Fragrance) 75% 65% 1.7 50% 5.8
Crawling Bug Insecticide
15% 10% 0.4 6% 0.9
Charcoal Lighter Material 0.020 lbs./start 0.014 lbs/start1 0.014 lbs./start 0.4
Sunset 2% Fragrance Exemption 2% of product mass exempted 0% exempted 0.3
5.0 12.8

According to CARB staff, the categories chosen included products most easily reformulated. CARB excluded categories due to possible challenges, such as reformulation issues, FDA issues, time constraints in completing review, or other issues.

Other Categories.

During the upcoming months of rulemaking, if any of the currently proposed categories become an issue, CARB has identified the following candidates available for consideration:

  • Floor Wax Stripper
  • Aerosol Cooking Spray
  • Laundry Detergent/Liquid Fabric Softener
  • Anti-microbial Dry Hand Wash (Hand Sanitizer)
  • Aerosol Sunscreen
  • Mouthwash/Rinse
  • Automatic Air Fresheners
  • Antiperspirants and Deodorants
  • Glass Cleaner (Nonaerosol)
  • Other categories are possible

Other Ongoing Work.

CARB is also reviewing the following:

  • Toxic Compounds
    • Evaluate potential for proposed measures to inadvertently increase Toxic Air Contaminant emissions.
    • Consider prohibition of methylene chloride (MeCl) in paint strippers.
    • Continue collaboration with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Safer Consumer Products Program.
  • Greenhouse Gases
    • Measures to increase near-term use of HFC-152a.
    • Strategies to accelerate development of zero-emission alternatives, including near-term and long-term.
  • Potential Reactivity-Based Approaches
    • Considering reactivity standards for mass-based categories.
    • Taking into account ozone-forming potential of products.
    • Targeting the most reactive VOCs can provide flexibility for regulatory compliance.
    • Future reactivity limits dependent on industry development of test methods.
  • Other Potential Regulatory Updates
    • Reflect existing high-GWP HFC prohibitions in Consumer Product Regulation, Table 94509(n)(1).
    • Amend Table of Maximum Incremental Reactivity Values.
    • Refine IPE and ACP eligibility requirements.
    • Update Method 310.

Next steps.

CARB’s next steps include:

Late 2019 Publish updated final survey data summaries, update consumer product emission inventory
Early 2020 Additional work group meetings:

  • Specific to proposed regulatory categories
  • Regulatory definitions
  • Fragrance exemption
  • Other topics as needed
Spring 2020 Third public workshop: Refine draft regulatory proposal, draft regulatory language. Additional workshop if needed
Ongoing Meet individually with interested stakeholders
Late 2020 Board consideration of proposed regulatory amendments

CARB is seeking comments and feedback on its Draft Proposal by Wednesday, November 27, 2019. Send comments and feedback to

A copy of the Draft Proposal can be obtained here: The Public Workshop for Proposed Amendments to the Consumer Products Regulations.

Lois Miyashiro, an environmental analyst in the firm’s San Francisco office, assisted in the preparation of this client alert.